With the unseasonably chilly temperatures of deep January making a cameo in November, winos everywhere are skipping the leaf piles and opting to dive headfirst into their collection of rich, warm-your-insides bottles of red. As enologists here at Joonbug, we love when our favorite wine bars feature off the beaten path varietals, and Terroir’s spotlight on this season’s batch of Beaujolais Nouveau is no exception. Kicking off the roll out at Terroir Murray Hill, an understated and often overlooked neighborhood gem, the party will be French themed.
In case you were wondering what a French themed party at a wine bar entails, it means smooth, jazzy music in a language you don’t understand sung by someone who is most likely more chic than you will ever be. If you are a female attending this party, you are intrinsically thinking of the finale of Sex and the City, fantasizing about being whisked away by Mr. Big in a frilly tutu dress only you could pull off while elegantly sipping a spectacular glass of rouge. If you are a male attending this party, you are definitely more focused on the $15 steak frites, the fabulous and geeky selection of Beaujolais, and wondering which chick in the room is going to dress the craziest in order to win the costume contest for Best Parisian.
A bit of background on the star performer of the evening, Beaujolais Nouveau is a region in Burgundy, France where Gamay grapes are prominent. Similar to the other prominent grape in the Burgundy region, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais wines featuring Gamay grapes are light bodied and high in acid. Depending on which section of Beaujolais the grapes grow (the north or the south) the Nouveau wines can have very different flavor profiles. The northern grapes generally grow in soil laden with granite and limestone, giving the wine a firmer structure and lending itself towards a bit more complexity. Grapes in the southern half of the region are grown in clay and sandstone based soil, resulting in lighter and fruitier yields.
Beaujolais Nouveau is fermented for just a few weeks before their release on the third Thursday in November. Because the wine is meant to be drunk young, and released at the same time every year, Beaujolais Day has become an annual festival in countries with a rich wine culture. In the United States, it is often associated with the holiday it closely precedes, our National Day of Thanks.
Like we said, we get a bit geeky about our grapes here at Joonbug, and if you do too, come join us as we ring in this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, which we predict will have a je ne sais quoi all its own.